Song of the Day #351: ‘Conventioneers’ – Barenaked Ladies

maroonTwo years after their success with Stunt, Barenaked Ladies released another album that reached platinum status in the U.S., 2000′s Maroon. The album follows the same template as Stunt, boasting tight production and a radio-friendly set of ballads and mid-tempo rockers. The first single, ‘Pinch Me,’ received a lot of airplay, though not nearly as much as ‘One Week.’

The song on Maroon I’ve always been most drawn to is ‘Conventioneers,’ a sordid tale of two co-workers who have an ill-advised affair while on a business trip. I love the combination of the very modern corporate hook-up story told against the backdrop of this old-fashioned jazz lounge music.

The song starts as a standard ballad of unrequited love, detailing a crush that just might blossom into something more. As things progress, it turns downright romantic (and the Scrabble reference is priceless). Only at the end, after this dream is fulfilled, does the harsh reality hit home. However, I’m not sure exactly why this relationship can’t go forward… we’d probably need a few more verses to get to the bottom of it.

You walked into the room
And the whole place stopped to notice
Standing next to you, I feel hopeless and you know this
I’ve never been ashamed of my attraction
I’d be happy if you gave me just a fraction
As we danced, I could see in your eyes
You and me as senior citizens in love

I followed your perfume out away from all the rabble
Right up to your room for a drink and travel Scrabble
You, stationed in the warm glow of the t.v.
Too patient as I’m playing L(1)O(1)V(4)E(1)

And we laugh…and we laugh…and we laugh
And we have to or we’ll end up in the bath

Now we’re in the bath, I’m already thinking marriage
I know that in the past it was something I’d disparage
You turned down all the lights, I lit the candles
We rolled around in robes and hotel sandals
Then you slept, and I dressed, and I left
And I guess I’ll see you Monday like before

Before all the fireworks exploded
Our conversations were so loaded, innuendo flying
Now what can we say?
Have a nice day
Looks like rain today
What you say?
Doesn’t matter anyway

Now I’m in a cab, heading back to my apartment
Everything is drab, and I wish it never started
Now I’ve landed in this awkward situation
How can I just avoid a conversation?
So I wait, come in late. It’d be great,
If you transferred out of state.


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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #351: ‘Conventioneers’ – Barenaked Ladies

  1. Amy says:

    Great song. Hmmm… what’s the problem for these two? I love this band!

  2. Dana says:

    well, any song that references Scrabble is cool in my book:)

    I suspect that he is describing a relationship that was simply better in the flirtation mode (and apparently the consummation mode) than it was after the fact. It’s that classic sitcom moment when the one person wakes up in the morning, looks over at the other and thinks “what have I done?” as he/she hurriedly gets dressed and leaves before the other person wakes up.

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